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A feminist road movie, bloodthirsty Japanese thrillers and Bollywood drama: it's this week's film fun

Tom Huddleston

Each week, we round up the most exciting film events happening in London over the coming week, from pop-ups and one-offs to regular film clubs, outdoor screenings and festivals. Here’s this week’s top five…

1. Sholay

The film voted the best Bollywood movie of all time by Time Out and a poll of experts gets a welcome big screen outing – and for a few quid extra you can get a slap-up meal to go with it. This cult masala western sees escaped convicts Veeru (Dharmendra) and Jai (superstar Amitabh Bachchan) defend a village terrorised by bandits led by the maniacal Gabbar Singh (Amjad Khan). ‘Sholay’ has it all – epic fight scenes, bromance, humour, memorable songs, plot twists, thrilling dance sequences and sparkling performances. The haunting score and Bollywood’s baddest villain are the icing on a rollicking, all-action cake.
Roxy Bar & Screen, 128-132 Borough High St, SE1 1LB. Mon Aug 10, 8pm. £4.

2. BFI Cult: 'God Told Me To'

Another stone-cold classic from the BFI Cult strand, this undervalued slice of perverse 1970s satire scored a place in our 100 Best Horror Movies poll. Without question one of darkest, sharpest, oddest horror movies of all time, it’s a tale of serial murder, religious mania and alien abduction shot on some of mid-’70s New York’s least salubrious streets. Director Larry Cohen deserves to be mentioned alongside John Carpenter and Wes Craven in the horror canon – and this might be his masterpiece.
BFI Southbank, Belvedere Rd, SE1 8XT. Thu Aug 6, 8.40pm. £8.35–£11.75.

3. Anachron Film Club: Japanese Revenge Night

A double bill of mad, bloodthirsty Japanese thrillers about a well-endowed cop, Hanzo the Razor. In ‘Sword of Justice’, Kamisori Hanzo hates the rich, despises privilege and corruption and makes it his business to serve the poor; he has reformed criminals as servants and is locked in an unending battle of wits with his hopelessly compromised boss Onishi. The explications of Hanzo’s masochism (he pummels his penis like a swordsmith forging a blade) are certainly startling, if not as shocking as the score, which sounds like out-takes from ‘Shaft’. Sequel ‘The Snare’ also screens.
Muse Gallery, 269 Portobello Rd, W11 1LR. Tue Aug 4, 7pm. FREE.

4. The Nomad: 'Thelma and Louise'

Sign up for free tickets to this outdoor screening of Ridley’s Scott’s feminist road movie. Leaving her husband a meal in the microwave, Thelma (Geena Davis) sets off with her friend Louise (Susan Sarandon) for a weekend holiday. But at their first stop, Thelma is nearly raped outside a bar; Louise shoots and kills the man. Gone is the carefree mood, and their destination is now Mexico. Directing with blistering energy, Scott delivers the goods, while Sarandon and Davis, together with sympathetic cop Harvey Keitel, are acutely convincing.
Victory Park, Celebration Ave, E20 1DB. Thu Aug 6, 7.30pm. FREE.

5. Soundtrack Sunday

Head to the Bertha Dochouse screen at Curzon Bloomsbury for a triple bill of recent docs with superb soundtracks. With its DJ Shadow score, homelessness tale ‘Dark Days’ was a critical smash and a political cause célèbre upon its release in 2000. The intervening years have not dulled its stark monochrome beauty or raw, heartbreaking power. ‘How We Used to Live’ compiles archive footage of London’s past with a terrific St Etienne soundtrack, while ‘Sleep Furiously’ is a vivid portrait of a Welsh community scored by Aphex Twin.
Curzon Bloomsbury, Brunswick Square, WC1N 1AW. Sun Aug 9, 3pm. £9, £7 concs per film.

For the full list, go to Time Out’s film events page.

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